November 9, 2015

Good morning my good brothers and sisters<3 

The weeks fly by so fast its crazy! We find out today whats going down- if i am staying in korat another transfer or what. I feel like i'm moving but my heart tryna stay so we'll see i guess. We had a way good sunday yesterday. The stake president and one of the counselors from the mission presidency, pres. ampawn, and pres. wisan, came to visit and give some training. 

Sister Neung (one), and her daughter praew (glimmer) got, and then sister muk (pearl)'s friend Bi Mai (New Year) got baptized yesterday. Typical thai nicknames haha but they are all super sick with some solid faith- they all had tons of obstacles to keep them from getting baptized- like down until minutes before the baptism, ahhh but after they got baptized and bore their testimonies it was so happy. Some tears were shed and thats when you know it was good... or really bad haha, but this time it was good. 

English Class was way fun- the sisters were having a hard time controlling all the little kids when they were in a class by themselves so we decided this week to just combine everyone into one large group and i would lead the lesson and it was way fun. It can be pretty stressful when the pressure is on and your expected to make the lesson fun and edifying, help everyone get involved etc. but needless to say i think i have a gift. hahaha- but really it was cool that one of our students that comes regularly, sister Ahw, she went up to north thailand this last week and brought us brought us back ties to thank us- so that was sweet. 

On tuesday we went out to find a members house who drew a little map for us to his house. The map made it look way close, like 10 min bike ride tops, and we start going and keep asking directions and 20 minutes pass, then 30, and we are biking sooo far its ridiculous, through army camps, and through wide open fields, and im thinking where are we at dude we've like biked to a whole nother city. Of course this brother doesn't have a phone, and all we new was the main road he lived off, and that he lived in a two story complex, haha so we finally found the street and were about to give up after searching the street for 5 min to no avail. we make some calls, and no one knows where his house is. right as we are about to head back after this hour+ long adventure, we head back down a road i swear we had ridden before, but this time we saw a complex that could possibly by our guy's. we walk over and he opens the door and yes we finally made it haha, we had a nice 5 min lesson and chat, and then had to start our journey back to the church to get back in time for english class. it was way good that we went out to visit him- and it was good for my legs too there lookin nice and big lately ;)

We went out to visit another member that lives way far out in another little town, his name is brother dam (black), and his family. They said its been over a year since they've had missionaries over, and they were so stoked to have us, and eat with us, and share old picture books and what not, and it was wayyy funny going through some of their history before they were members haha and then pics with the elders that baptized them 7 some years ago, etc. Brother dam had a little personal book of memroies from growing up and it inspired me to take lots of pictures to have good records. his pictures were SWEET aand way classic. yeah im sure i cant explain it to sound cool so ill just leave it at that i guess- we went to visit another family that we serve with all the time but have never went to their house, and that was way fun as well. one of my favorite part of being with the members is learning about their background idk its so exciting to me. one of our RC's mom, was telling us how she fed the american soldiers that were stationed here in Korat during the Vietnam war decades ago- and thats why she speaks pretty good english. This cute 75 yr old lady that was able to speak some english- it was way cool to see haha a pretty rare sight. 

2 of our inv. that are working on giving up smoking are puttin in work. brother T told us a couple days ago- that he doesnt even have the desire to smoke anymore- its been a little over a week, and he said he just feels so free. At first we gave them these mint lozenge things to eat throughout the day if they feel tempted to smoke, and at first he was running thru them way fast, he finished the bag the other day and we had just bought him a new one, and then he told us that he was out but he doesnt want or need anymore. T quit so quickly, and in contrast to a couple other people that we have been teaching that relapse pretty much every day the difference in why is so clear. its all about the Book of Mormon! for real there is so much power in it. the only difference between those who were able to quit and those who still havent is that one group has been reading the book of mormon, and others havent. T told me his favorite scripture right now is 1 nephi 3:15 when nephi says some thing like "as long as the lord liveth, and as long as i live, we will not return back to our father in the wilderness until we have finished the thing the Lord has commanded of us... to get the plates" and T was just like "nephi was such a boss, and such a good example." Anyways long story short- the book of mormon has power to change people- really its jesus christ, but its a super clear that the book of mormon really is a testament of christ. We have seen T's desires change because of it. 

About desires- was my favorite part of the week. Our district meeting on tuesday was all about desires, and then we got trained on thursday and it was all about desires again. i wish i could just relive it all with you because it was so good. but just to give you a little appetizer taste of it. read in D&C 7, all of it, about peter and john the apostles, and what they ask Christ for. verse 8 has Christ's promise to both of them:  "Verily I say unto you, ye shall both have according to your desires, for ye both joy in that which ye have desired." What is it that we desire? I love from that story that Peter has way good desires of serving the Lord for his time here on earth and then speedily going into his kingdom when he has reached a good age. But John "has desired that he might do more, or a greater work yet among men than what he has before done." we talked about Hollands talk "the first and greatest commandment", and another talk by Elder Oaks, that had talked about when we have a vision our desire and ability to act are increased. I dont know if i explained that right, but what im going for is- if my desires are like peters, (comparing my life to my time on my mission in thailand), and i want to work hard while im here, and then speedily head home, and its like my mission is over, well its a good desire that i want to serve him, but we should desire to do more, a greater work than what we have done before. Its helped solidify that vision that our discipleship never ends, and this period of time is just prepping me to be an even better missionary in the states, preparing me for future callings and duties, etc. and with that widened vision of the mission, it gives me a greater ability and motivation to act, and work, and give everything now, because everything i do now effects and prepares me for what is to come. they showed pictures of salmon that are flopping across a slightly flooded road, jumping up mini waterfalls, and cruising up stream, and we talked about how after salmon are born in the river, they swim out to the ocean and grow up, but before the end of their life, they have this embedded desired encoded within them that they NEED to go back home, and thats where they spawn their kids. And they are willing to go through anything, and do whatever it takes to get back home. in conclusion- its time to reevaluate or desires. why? because God grants us according to our desires- whether we desire good or bad or great. And God has never gone back from what he has promised- so thats a pretty sick promise: whatever you desire, its yours. And desires is one of those cool things you can continually change, and improve, so some food for thought. 

Runnin' low on time so yeah- lots of good stuff happening her in Korat and im so grateful for the opportunity to serve here in this part of His vineyard. Christ is our Redeemer and Savior and the church is true. I love you guys<3 

Elder Champ

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